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WWF Journey to the Circle and Giants of Antarctica

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 Trip Length
14 Days
 Trip Starts
Ushuaia
 Trip Finishes
Ushuaia
14 Day WWF Journey to the Circle and Giants of Antarctica Itinerary (Intrepid)
Countries Explored: Argentina, Antarctica
Trip Style
Comfort
Max. Group Size
127
Pace
Easy
Trip Code
GQCWF

Overview

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Intrepid's 14 Day WWF Journey to the Circle and Giants of Antarctica. Join Intrepid and special guests from the World Wildlife Fund – Australia (WWF-Australia) on a 14-day expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula and Circle. Search the icy waters and white shores for whales and other creatures by day, then relax and enjoy an illuminating lecture program by night aboard the well-appointed Ocean Endeavour. Joining our regular team of Antarctic experts will be WWF-Australia scientists, sharing their insights into whale conservation while they conduct cutting...read more edge research on these underwater giants. And that’s just the icing on this Antarctic cake. This adventure offers you the chance to explore Antarctica’s barren beauty on foot and by Zodiac, to encounter penguin rookeries, sight leopard seals and marvel at towering glaciers.

Itinerary

Welcome to Ushuaia, the gateway to Antarctica, located at the southern tip of Argentina. These parts are known as Tierra del Fuego, often called ‘The End of the World’, but this is just the beginning of your Antarctic adventure. You’ll meet your fellow travellers at the hotel this afternoon, where a welcome briefing will take place. If you arrive early, there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself. Those with a day or two in hand may want to head to Tierra del Fuego National Park on a full day’s adventure, or if you've only got a few hours to kill then why not take a stroll around town and visit the waterfront overlooking the Beagle Channel, or perhaps get a taste of Argentina’s famous cuisine at a local restaurant.

Enjoy some free time to explore Ushuaia and the surrounding area before boarding the Ocean Endeavour this afternoon. Once settled, you’ll cast off and make your way through the Beagle Channel towards the infamous Drake Passage. Named after Charles Darwin’s historic ship The Beagle, the deep open water of the channel presents many great photo opportunities.  Travelling with you on this voyage is a small team of scientists, who are heading to Antarctica to undertake crucial research on the migration and feeding patterns of baleen whales.  Wave goodbye to South America if you're not too busy snapping away at the incredible landscapes – your next land sighting will be the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. (B/D)

The Drake Passage is one of the most famous bodies of water on the planet. It can be a little rough, but if weather conditions are good, you can head out on the outer decks for a chance to spot ocean dwellers like whales and dolphins, or perhaps seabirds including the spectacular wandering albatross, prions and petrels. Over the next two days, you'll get to know your expedition team experts as our comprehensive lecture program gets underway. Your polar experts and WWF scientists will share their knowledge of the Antarctic region so you can gain a great understanding of its wildlife, history and geology and help prepare you for the adventure that lies ahead. Your expedition team are experts on the marine life that inhabit these parts and will help scout for sightings as you join them on the Ocean Endeavour's bridge and spacious outer decks. With favourable conditions, you are scheduled to arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula late on the evening of day four. (Bx2/Lx2/Dx2)

It’s time to take your first steps on Antarctica, courtesy of a Zodiac cruise through the icy waters. There are several potential landing sites including Neko Harbour, Petermann Island and Port Lockroy, and while weather dictates which specific site you'll land at, each of them presents an opportunity to get up close with some truly incredible wildlife, watch penguins waddle and seals slide as icebergs and glaciers crackle and crumble.

The WWF research team travelling with you will take another Zodiac to search of whales, deploying non-invasive tracking tools to gather data such as whale orientation, movement and speed. The suction-capped devices used also have two cameras attached, providing a first person (or first-whale!) view of underwater lives. The researchers will also use drone technology to track whale size and movement from above, as well as to observe krill populations in the southern oceans. While they may be exploring in different regions to you on any given day, they will report back regularly at the evening recap presentations.

An average day on board begins with a wake-up call from your Expedition leader around 7 am, giving you time to prepare for the day before joining your fellow expeditioners for breakfast in the Polaris restaurant. You will usually have two excursions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a delicious lunch served on the Ocean Endeavour in between excursions.

If you have any questions, look to your expedition team to inspire and educate you about this fascinating part of the world. A range of adventure options are available if you’re feeling active, including snowshoeing, kayaking or day paddling. You'll also have an opportunity to take a polar plunge off the Ocean Endeavour. There’s nothing quite like a quick dip in the Antarctic’s icy depths to wake you up!

Antarctica will enchant you with its incredible scenery, from imposing glaciers to towering snow-capped peaks, vast icebergs, and ice strewn channels. Not to mention the wildlife – from extensive colonies of chinstrap, gentoo and Adelie penguins, to crabeater, Weddell, fur and elephant seals and a plethora of fascinating birds. Back on board, you can make the most of the onboard wellness facilities including a spa, saltwater pool, sauna and gym, or perhaps join a yoga class with the incredible backdrop of Antarctica! (Bx4/Lx4/Dx4)

Venturing to the ends of the earth is a moment to revel in, as not all expeditions venture this far south. Weather conditions permitting, celebrations will be in order after reaching latitude 66°33’S and crossing the fabled Antarctic Circle. Toast to the sheer rawness of the surroundings and take it all in – while not a typical landing, the crossing of the Antarctic Circle leaves a lasting memory. Travel past colossal, often beautifully sculpted icebergs, to a point on earth only a few intrepid travellers have sailed. Home to Weddell seals that are specially adapted to this icy environment, they use their canines and incisors to rasp open new ice and maintain holes in the ice through which to breathe. They also have extremely accurate powers of navigation, enabling them to seek out breathing holes when their teeth are worn down and they are no longer able to maintain or create breathing holes in the ice. (Bx2/Lx2/Dx2)

You’ll be more familiar with the Antarctic waters as the Ocean Endeavour begins heading north. Test your newfound knowledge of penguin species, and finetune your wildlife spotting skills as you differentiate between fur, leopard and Weddell seals. Zodiac excursions will continue, and your expedition guides will be on hand on the journey north to Ushuaia to ensure you make the most of the peninsula’s wildlife opportunities and capture the perfect photographs. Take the opportunity to speak with the WWF-Australia team about their whale research findings from their time on the Peninsula. Ultimately, the team hopes that their research will lead to the establishment of an Antarctic marine protection area, preventing krill fishing in the region and safeguarding the health of baleen whales. The Intrepid Foundation helps facilitate this research voyage and supports WWF-Australia’s Protecting Antarctic Giants project. (B/L/D)

The journey’s final leg offers an opportunity to reflect on the spectacular scenery and prolific wildlife encountered throughout the voyage. Spend some time with your fellow passengers, who you’ve no doubt bonded with, and enjoy a final celebration together to toast the end of this Antarctic adventure. (Bx2/Lx2/Dx2)

Disembark in Ushuaia after enjoying your final breakfast on the Ocean Endeavour. You have an included morning transfer to Ushuaia airport if you're flying home today, otherwise enjoy some extra time exploring Tierra del Fuego and its rugged surroundings. (B)

Trip Inclusions

  • Be joined by a team of naturalists, marine biologists and WWF-Australia scientists and learn how they're conducting cutting-edge research into Antarctica’s great whales with onboard lectures and interactive experiences.
  • Take advantage of extra days at the Antarctic Peninsula on this extended expedition. That means more places, more landings and more time to see Antarctica’s incredible wildlife and landscapes.
  • Enjoy daily Zodiac excursions to iconic landing sites, abundant with birdlife and busy penguins, and witness icebergs in a thousand different shades of blue.
  • Experience almost endless daylight in high summer once you are inside the Antarctic Circle. Then, push further south than most Antarctic expeditions venture, exploring the remoteness of this less-visited part of the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Customise your trip with a wide range of optional activities on top of regular Zodiac excursions. Explore the water by kayak, sign up for a photography masterclass, rejuvenate with onboard yoga and massages or take a refreshing polar plunge.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, WWF-Australia. Donations support their pioneering whale research and conservation efforts to establish marine protected areas around Antarctica.

  • Comfortable Hotel (1 night)
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (12 nights)

  • 13 Breakfasts included
  • 11 Lunches included
  • 12 Dinners included

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
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Brochure

Antarctica & The Arctic

Intrepid Antarctica & The Arctic (2022-24)

We don’t believe in travel as simply a way to tick items off a bucket list. We take the time to get under the skin of a destination and discover what makes it unique. Of course, we all want to see a polar bear in the Arctic or king penguins on South Georgia Island, but while we’re there we’ll spend time with the Inuit people and learn about their way...more of life, or cruise around in Zodiacs to gaze at the monolithic icebergs up close. Seeing the famous landmarks and wildlife is a must, but experiencing them with a passionate expert is what makes these trips truly special.

Prices & Dates

There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general release dates for all destinations.

Note
Tour & cruises prices are per person. Prices shown have savings applied, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices and trip information are correct at the time at this point in time, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking and are subject to change by Intrepid. For cruise itineraries, cabin images are sourced from Intrepid. These should be treated as indicative only. Cabin inclusions, upholsteries and room layout may differ to the image(s) shown depending on the ship selected and your sailing dates.

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